This was’s most-read feature story of 2020 (thanks, Phil Mickelson)

We have run through these end-of-year recaps for a couple of years now, but I must say, this year’s winner of our most-read feature story brings me a lot of joy. Why? Because the author put in work.

In late 2019, GOLF’s Sean Zak decided he would take on Phil Mickelson’s famous fast and see if it worked for him.

“The truth is, we both needed a change,” Zak wrote in his piece, breaking down the journey. “Lefty’s game had tanked ever since his win last March at Pebble Beach. His body, as he described it, needed a ‘hard reset,’ so he fasted for six days in July, consuming only water and a special coffee blend he crafted with the help of performance coach Dave Phillips. As for me, I had become a shell of my former, fitter self, and was reaching shameful levels of gym avoidance. I could probably use a hard reset,’ too.”

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I still remember this challenge becoming a reality. Zak was over at my apartment for Thanksgiving 2019 as Mickelson was texting him(!) the ingredients he needed to complete the fast. Lefty was all in. So was Zak.

“The first 24 hours were, as Phil warned, particularly rough,” Zak wrote. “As an avid connoisseur of bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, hunger crept in early, and didn’t leave easily. Phil’s drink? It’s not bad. And when it’s the only thing on the menu, I began to long for it.”

Zak made it through the fast and lost 11 pounds that week. His story — “What it’s like completing Phil Mickelson’s 6-day coffee and water fast (with Lefty as my coach)” — appeared in the February 2020 issue of GOLF Magazine and on on Jan. 16, 2020. It was gobbled up by readers, and about 100 of them reached out to the author personally, looking for more information or tips to do the fast themselves.

You can read the entire story here (and check out the video that accompanied it at the top of this article).


Josh Berhow Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at